Jean-Marc GalesEnlarge Photo
He was brought in back in 2014 to help bring back Lotus from the brink of bankruptcy and turn it into a viable automaker, but now Jean-Marc Gales has given up his CEO position at the British sports car brand.
Gales on Monday revealed via a statement that he has left Lotus for “personal reasons,” though we know he also has a new job lined up at classic car retailer and restorer JD Classics.
He hasn't completely cut ties with Lotus, however. He will remain as an adviser to Chairman Daniel Donghui Li.
Meanwhile, taking over the reins at Lotus will be Feng Qingfeng. Both Li and Qingfeng are also board members of Lotus parent company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
Gales has managed to do an impressive job of running Lotus on a shoestring budget over the past few years. It hasn't been an easy task. Almost immediately after joining Lotus, he made the painful decision of eliminating a quarter of the brand's global workforce. He also had to put all major development plans on hold and improve productivity.
"Jean-Marc has stabilized and turned Lotus to profitability for the first time in the iconic brand's history with new industry leading products and unique business models since joining the company in 2014," Li said in a statement.
Gales leaves Lotus at a pivotal time. Thanks to Geely's backing, Lotus finally has the funds to renew its sports car lineup as well as launch new, more profitable model lines. Currently thought to be in the pipeline are new versions of the Elise and Espirt nameplates, as well as an SUV.